I sat down with Patti on September 10th, 2013.  Patti was born and raised around Olean, NY.  She runs a little diner in the middle of town.  It was the first time I had a salad with hot waffle fries.  Even though it was late afternoon, there was always one table full of late lunchers.  A group of bikers stopped in, as did the proprietor of the bar next door.  Patti is the owner, manager and head chef. 

We spoke about the loss of her brother and the fear of death, and we also managed to tackle the question: "What makes a good life?"

On her brother's death:

Patti during the afternoon lull at her restaurant in Olean, NY

Patti during the afternoon lull at her restaurant in Olean, NY

On her mother's struggle with death:

My mother didn’t want to die [...]
She was afraid of it.
She was always afraid of death.
I don’t know why.
I think she just...(you know,)... you’re dead...
and she didn’t want to be in that ground.

I think that’s what she was afraid of, is that
you’re really not there.

You know, I’m not so sure what’s out there.
It can’t be any worse than this though either.
— Patti, 9.10.13 (full clip below)

What makes a good life?

If you are lucky to be in love
and you have a good family,
and you have your health...
and a little bit of money (you don’t have to be filthy rich)
and you’re not starving,
and you’re not going hungry
I think you’re good.
— Patti, 9.10.13
The infamous Waffle Fry Salad

The infamous Waffle Fry Salad